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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I have a 1.5 year old male standard who absolutely loves almost all dogs. His favorite place is the dog park and he loves to wrestle and play a little rough. It’s definitely not uncommon to see his teeth out when he finds the right play partner, but always in play mode.
However, there is one dog, a German Shepherd, at our new apartment (there’s a small dog park we go to just to get the last of his energy out before it gets dark) who he hates. Twice now he has lunged at the dog within the park, teeth bared and barking ferociously to the point where we had to grab both dogs. Surprisingly, mine is the one that starts the fights, but I think he does not trust this dog. The owner obviously doesn't not have any control over it and the dog is high strung and disobedient. Plus I’m my dogs person and he’s very protective.
We just won’t be going or staying if that dog is around, but I’m curious if any of you have experienced similar situations?
 

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I don't take my dogs to dog parks. I've had a bad experience where my dog was chased as "prey" while the person who brought the other dog could careless - it was her son's dog and she had no control, no idea of a problem. Thankfully the other dog owners helped me and my dog was not traumatized. Some dogs are physically or psychologically harmed.

My dogs get lots of training and attention from me so they don't need the dog park. You never know how well socialized those dogs are and whether the owners have control or know what to do if things go wrong.
 
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Dogs often react very differently when on their home turf than they do in neutral territory. And it is quite possible he doesn't like this dog's energy. My dog also formed an intense dislike for another dog in one of his classes despite being quite dog social. I would not worry overly much but I would see it as indication that your dog could use some work on impulse control and deferring to your judgment. Even if he feels that way, it doesn't mean he can totally disregard your instruction. Working on following your direction with this dog at a distance could help him to build confidence in your ability to keep him protected from the dog he dislikes.
 

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Part of the Shepherd toolkit is a hard stare. (Haha, my little sheepie, I have you in my crosshairs, I will enjoy making you flee...) I wonder if the Shepherd is inadvertently gazing at your dog in a way your dog interprets as rude and hostile. (Call me a sheep, will ya! Come here and I'll teach you the meaning of sheep!) I do agree that working on your dog's impulse control is good; the world is full of inadequately socialized dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He tends to return to me when I call, and did the first time, but he wasn’t having it this last time. Though he is pretty reactive (in the way that he wants to go see something and pulls hard/barks, never leash aggression). Really trying to work on the impulse control, but I definitely need to check out some posts to get more ideas. A little at wits end with what I know.
 

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Dogs can develop dislikes to other dogs. When I was showing my Giant Schnauzer he decided he did not like a certain Boxer that we sometimes saw at the shows. He had never met the Boxer. Whenever that dog entered the room he would immediately tense, get the hard stare and I would look around to see sure enough he was fixated on "that Boxer" again. He was a very easy going dog, and never showed any aggression to any other dogs. Our dogs sometimes react to things that we can't understand, I'd say just try keep him away from that dog; don't try to get them to make friends.
 

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That seems to be the right age for it. Peggy was approaching her second birthday when she “abruptly” snapped on her best friend, also a herding breed. (I say “abruptly” because I’m sure there was all sorts of stuff leading up to that moment that we either ignored or were oblivious to.)

This is a good thread on the topic: Sigh. It finally happened. Peggy and her BFF...

My best advice would be to steer clear of the dog park and take control of his interactions moving forward, especially in the short-term. The last thing you want to do is make him think he has to defend himself from other dogs.

The energy at dog parks is also pretty intense—new dogs showing up all the time, whipping themselves into a frenzy, often playing far too long, and often with owners who just want to sip their coffee and chat. Much better to assemble a smaller social group for walks or closely supervised interactions.
 

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He tends to return to me when I call, and did the first time, but he wasn’t having it this last time. Though he is pretty reactive (in the way that he wants to go see something and pulls hard/barks, never leash aggression). Really trying to work on the impulse control, but I definitely need to check out some posts to get more ideas. A little at wits end with what I know.
I realized I also phrased my response badly. My apologies.. I didn't mean your boy was badly socialized; I meant he's probably going to encounter a lot of other dogs, pandemic puppies perhaps, who haven't learned good doggy manners.

Do you have a training club in your area that offers manners and CGC classes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I realized I also phrased my response badly. My apologies.. I didn't mean your boy was badly socialized; I meant he's probably going to encounter a lot of other dogs, pandemic puppies perhaps, who haven't learned good doggy manners.

Do you have a training club in your area that offers manners and CGC classes?
I understood! He is a Covid pup himself, but I did everything I could to socialize him. But we had to do virtual training so that was rough. I’m in the twin cities area so I’m sure I can find something good!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That seems to be the right age for it. Peggy was approaching her second birthday when she “abruptly” snapped on her best friend, also a herding breed. (I say “abruptly” because I’m sure there was all sorts of stuff leading up to that moment that we either ignored or were oblivious to.)

This is a good thread on the topic: Sigh. It finally happened. Peggy and her BFF...

My best advice would be to steer clear of the dog park and take control of his interactions moving forward, especially in the short-term. The last thing you want to do is make him think he has to defend himself from other dogs.

The energy at dog parks is also pretty intense—new dogs showing up all the time, whipping themselves into a frenzy, often playing far too long, and often with owners who just want to sip their coffee and chat. Much better to assemble a smaller social group for walks or closely supervised interactions.
I’ve had some bad interactions with those types of park goers. We just had to adjust when we went so that there were very few dogs around, most that he ignored, just so he could run free and sniff as he pleased. We live in the city, for now, so he doesn’t get a lot of that opportunity. Buying land is definitely in my future for him.
 
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